A year after Uruguay's historic marijuana law was signed, officials have green-lighted homegrown cannabis, cannabis clubs, and hemp cultivation, but the specifics of its signature provision – a regulated commercial cannabis market – remain unclear.
A year into the experiments with legal, taxed marijuana sales, Washington and Colorado find themselves wrestling not with the federal interference many feared, but with competition from medical marijuana or even outright black market sales.
Since 2001, Canada has allowed patients to grow their own marijuana or designate a grower to do so on their behalf, but a policy change established the opportunity for licensed growers operating under strict quality controls to supply patients – essentially spawning a new legal marijuana industry overnight.
Marijuana policy may not seem like the natural setting to model policies that pursue inclusive growth, but the innovative policy-making processes initiated in four US states are actually well worth considering.
A new report predicts that 18 U.S. states will have legalized recreational marijuana in the next five years, a huge increase from the four states that currently have or are in the process of creating legal markets for pot.
The United Nations drug control conventions of 1960 and 1971 and later additions have inadvertently resulted in perhaps the greatest restrictions of medical and life sciences research. These conventions now need to be revised to allow neuroscience to progress unimpeded and to assist in the innovation of treatments for brain disorders. In the meantime, local changes, such as the United Kingdom moving cannabis from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2, should be implemented to allow medical research to develop appropriately.
Professor Archibald McDonald called on the Jamaican Government to continue with the reforms and disregard apparent threats from US Government official William Brownfield cautioning the Government against breaching international drug treaties to which it is a signatory. "He is saying that Colorado, Washington DC and so on can go ahead and legalise ganja, but Jamaica signed those treaties and therefore cannot do the same. What a ridiculous argument," McDonald commented.
Despite strong ministerial and legislative signals, segments of the marijuana lobby are unsure that sufficient protections will be afforded to the persons who currently supply the raw material. The challe